Graduating class reflects, prepares for future


Ryan McChesney

The graduating class of 2021 has had an unexpected final year. Due to COVID-19, commencement will be virtual. NMU will host its spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at 10 a.m. and will be live streaming it free on their website portal. Jalen Sims, graphic design major, is the student commencement speaker and broadway star Bryan Terrell Clark, who appeared as George Washington in “Hamilton” is the main speaker.

Students who are graduating are disappointed, however, many have not let this hinder their finals days on campus. Class of 21’, senior Sara Tucker a speech, language and hearing science major, shares her Northern experience.

“I am very sad to leave Marquette and NMU but I am excited to continue my education. Northern gave me amazing experiences that others in my field of study do not have access to, most notably, the opportunity to work with clients as a student clinician at our campus speech, language and hearing clinic,” Tucker said.

Leaving Northern is emotional for Tucker, but she is excited to start the next chapter of her life as a graduate student.

“Following graduation, I plan to start school at Michigan State University where I will be working towards receiving my master’s degree in speech pathology,” Tucker said.

Finishing an undergraduate program during a global pandemic adds a few more roadblocks. Tucker shares the challenges she faced and is hopeful for better times post-pandemic.

“Graduating during a pandemic is certainly not ideal. The worst part about the pandemic in my field is the detriment masks have on communication, and speech therapy. Luckily, we have found a way to do teletherapy efficiently but I will be happy when we can be in person without masks again,” Tucker said.

Transfer student from Traverse City, Liam Kaiser, will be graduating with the class of 21’ with a bachelor’s degree in digital cinema. Kaiser is grateful for the time he spent at Northern.

“My time at NMU was a blast. I was a transfer student and I couldn’t have asked for a better two years. Having some prior experience with creative work I landed a job with the University’s marketing office, which gave me a lot of connections and met a lot of people through that,” Kaiser said.

As he looks back on his Northern experience, Kaiser can’t help but feel nostalgic.

“I’ll cherish the memories and friendships I have made here at Northern. Most importantly, I will take the skills I learned here at NMU and apply them at my new job, a photography and video production company back home in T.C,” Kaiser said.